Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April 13 Radio History

[In 1930...WHOM AM signed on.

This station was founded in 1925 by the New Jersey Broadcasting Corp., owned by Outdoor Advertising executive Harry O'Mealia, whose company owned thousands of billboards around the metropolitan area. WHOM was originally a Jersey City station, having taken over 1450 AM from the merged WIBS/WKBO.

WHOM debuted with a 15 minute inaugural broadcast on April 13, 1930 at 5:45pm. The host was chief announcer Howard Lepper, previously the manager of WIBS. Then, according to,  the station left the air to make time for WNJ and WBMS, returning to the air at 9pm for a gala show that lasted until 2am. In 1931, WHOM absorbed the airtime of WNJ, and the following year, it became a full-time station with the demise of WBMS.

In 1946, WHOM officially changed their "city of license" from Jersey City to New York.

In 1989, the station was sold to Infinity Broadcasting, owners of WXRK 92.3, among others. Calls were changed to WZRC on April 28, 1990 and the station instituted a heavy-metal rock format as "Z-Rock," a service of the Dallas-based Satellite Music Network and was so anxious to enter the New York market. In December 1992, WZRC switched to country music.

Then in 1993, Infinity signed a lease agreement with a Korean programming service making WZRC 1480  the first full-time Korean-language station in New York.

[In 1940...the No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit was “In the Mood,” by the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

[In 1941...a radio crime drama based on a series of films about a British police inspector, Bulldog Drummond debuted on the Mutual Broadcasting System.  It had an 8 year run.

In 1953...Music ‘Til Dawn with host Bob Hall premiers on WCBS 880 AM NYC. American Airlines owned the program at the outset, premiering it on WCBS in Manhattan, as well as on five other CBS-owned stations in cities served by the airline. The list of cities expanded to include at least eight others, with many hosts over the years all bearing the signature "soothing" voice.

The program's theme song, an orchestration of "That's All," introduced and ended each evening's program, and also ran under the announcer's voice at anytime the mike was open.  The show continued until 1970.

In 1969...Jack Spector last show at WMCA 570 AM NYC

In 2009...Sportscaster Harry Kalas, play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia Phillies for 38 years and also a narrator for NFL films, died of heart disease at the age of 73. He had collapsed in the Nationals Park press box at approximately 12:30 pm, several hours before the Washington Nationals' home opener against the Phillies.

Kalas joined NFL Films as a narrator in 1975. He became its primary voice, following the passing of John Facenda in 1984. He provided the narration to the highlights on Inside the NFL from its inception in 1976 through the 2008 season. Following Kalas' death, fellow Philadelphia Phillies announcer Scott Graham took over his Inside the NFL duties.

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